– Jesus Christ, Luke 10:18
As a Christian man, my heart and mind pursue an ever-deepening love for the Lord Jesus Christ, my God and the center of enduring joy. However, He is also that great celestial alarm clock, waking those who forego the snooze button from the sweet slumber of apathy and denial. That denial is the one that masks a truth: something is not quite right with the world. Just last week, while researching this month’s topic, I happened on a VICE documentary about the warlords of Liberia. In it, a former warlord, now a preacher, confessed that soldiers would drink the blood from the heart of a murdered child for good luck in battle. This is the 21st century folks, there’s something wrong. Whether or not you believe that the world is better or worse than in ages past, the point is that the technologically advanced one we live in now provides us with an unparalleled global awareness of just how broken humanity is.
Who is to blame? Well yes, humans kill humans. We unlocked the doors to rape, murder and genocide, but the bible peels back the layers of history revealing that there was another at the very beginning who gave us the key. This being has since gone by many names: the serpent of old, dragon, father of lies, the enemy; but most know him as the devil, or Satan. Genesis, the very first book in the bible, speaks of a time before there ever were a Jewish people, when the world was of one race, one tribe. We had a sanctified relationship with the Living God, a bond of trust and great fulfillment, not fear, until Satan intervened.
Ha-satan is Hebrew for “the adversary”, which is what this creature has become to mankind: opposition to the long-awaited reunion with our Creator, a hateful enemy to His very memory. Yet miraculously, today we hold bibles in our hands that preserve the account of what happened at the Fall over 6000 years ago. It is from Eden, that the book of Ezekiel shares Satan’s often misunderstood origin with us. In Chapter 28, God has sent his servant to prophesy against the king of Tyre, in modern-day Lebanon. What starts as a clear denouncement of the monarch’s reign shifts towards a direct spiritual attack on who is truly pulling the strings behind world affairs. Ezekiel says:
“…You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God, every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared.
You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned.
So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.
So I threw you to the earth…” –Ezekiel 28:11-17
Satan was anointed, specially made and set apart for a sacred purpose. As a cherub, he beheld the radiant face of God, when human’s would have perished doing so. He was honored by the Lord, given extraordinary beauty and responsibility, but tragically, he fell in love with his own sublimely crafted form. Pride grew inside his heart like an infestation and instead of giving glory to His Creator for all that he was, Isaiah 14:12-14 tells us that he desired to sit on God’s throne, to have his kingdom. There was war in heaven and a high-ranking archangel, called Michael, fought against the dragon and the angels he had managed to entice. (Revelation 12:7) In the aftermath, the disgraced cherub and his army fell to earth, possessed by deep bitterness, a wicked heart that the human mind cannot fathom.
It is true, most humans commit evil acts because they simply don’t know God. So, attempting to understand the one who spent his entire existence at the feet of that almighty source of purity and cosmic wonder, only to completely turn against Him, is probably beyond us. Still, if we dare to take a peek behind the facade at the most heinous crimes against goodness in the world today, there will be no hiding, we will see his face. Come back next time as we uncover how Satan has become, as Jesus says, “the prince of this world”. That is, the prince that the Lord has promised to overcome.